I Am Loved – Mary and Kevin Qamaniq-Mason, illustrations by Hwei Lim

  I Am Loved – Mary and Kevin Qamaniq-Mason, illustrations by Hwei Lim, Inhabit Media, Inc, 9781772272819, 2021

Format: Paperback 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: Picture Book

 What did you like about the book? This book was written by foster parents that have worked with Inuit children needing foster services. The authors have written this book as a way of showing some the challenges foster children face when being placed in a family with a new home, new foods, new traditions–just about everything is new. Even though this was written with an Inuit child in mind, I would think this story could be used by other families that might be fostering a child in an environment very different from the one they have known. The story shows a very loving foster family and how they have provided many wonderful things for their foster son–his own bedroom, nice meals, and fun activities. However, this little boy remembers his own family and friends and he misses the things that are familiar to him. I think this is something that almost any foster family might be experiencing. What I really enjoyed about this story is that it is stressed how much he is loved by both his families and that patience and compassion will help him navigate this challenge.

This book is about a cauciasian family who foster an Inuit boy and some of the challenges this boy is facing is seen through the illustrations. For example, he is in a home with a cauciasian family, yet the reader can see him thinking about his own family and the reader can see the difference in skin tone and clothing. This helps to show how his new life, although wonderful, is very different from what he has known.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing.

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of four and eight years old, especially if they are experiencing a similar family change as the boy in this story. In this story, this boy is placed in the foster family so his mom “can get healthy in her body and her mind and her heart”. However, there are aspects of this story that I think would also work with a family that is maybe separating or even a step-family–any situation where a child might be separated from those who love them and whom they love, yet they are also with another family that loves them as well. There are some very similar components which might make this story appeal to a wider audience than just foster families.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, school counselors, anyone who might work with young children experiencing this type of situation.

Where would you shelve it? Picture Book

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: March 7, 2021

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